sitemap Dr. Randall Whitaker / Archived Umeå University Webpages
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Dr. Randall Whitaker / Archived Umeå University Webpages
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This section contains certain of my webpages previously hosted at Umeå Universitet in the 1990's. This webspace was deactivated several years ago. Some, but not all, the materials presented on that website were migrated to the current webspace.

This section contains selected materials that were not continued on the later website, and hence were only presented on the obsolete Umeå website.

  • Some documentation that either migrated to the later website or became obsolete has been removed from this online archive.

  • Some of the remaining links have been modified to point to later versions of the target presentations on

  • There may be URL's and hot links within these archived materials that are now 'broken'. Sorry ...

Autopoiesis & Enaction: The Observer Web

The primary Internet nexus on the subjects of autopoiesis and enaction (the theories of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela -- the Biology of Cognition and Enactive Cognitive Science).

Information Warfare

An evolving set of materials on military and paramilitary exploitation of cyberspace as a venue for power projection. Introductory and reference material on the emerging post-modern warform. Samurai semiotics or free-form hype-pretext? You decide!

CoGnosis and CoPraxis: Facilitating Interactivity

This Webspace is a developing series of materials on human interactivity and ongoing attempts to facilitate it through information technology (IT) -- the research area of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) and the development field of groupware.

Who I Am

A personal and professional summary; my affiliation with Institutionen för Informatik.

My Research

Some summary materials relating to my research interests and orientations.



My Affiliation with Institutionen för Informatik  
In 1988, I was offered a position with the Swedish Agency for Administrative Development (Statskontoret). Because I was preparing to write my doctoral dissertation in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I said I'd do it if I could complete my Ph.D. in Sweden. Professor Kristo Ivanov kindly agreed to 'adopt' me here at Institutionen för Informatik, Umeå Universitet.

Tack så mycket, Kristo!

During the next four years, I essentially undertook a second Ph.D. program based on systems theory, cybernetics, the 'systems approach' of C. West Churchman, and the Scandinavian perspective on social and political aspects of technological intervention. This agenda allowed me to expand my understanding of information technology (IT) issues, and the experience allowed me to resolve my current focus on systemic approaches to human (inter-)action and human-computer interaction.

A 1993 job opportunity led me away from the Umeå Informatik 'family' and back to the United States. Since then, I've maintained an affiliation with Institutionen för Informatik as an Adjunct Researcher and 'prodigal son'.

I continue with my 'private scholarship', which is segregated from my work at my 'day job'. My current personal research interests focus on:

  • Autopoiesis and enaction
  • Extensions to autopoietic theory
  • Constructivist epistemology
  • Semiotics and cognition
  • Human interactivity in cyberspace
  • Electronic commerce (eCommerce)

Randall Whitaker, Randy Whitaker, autopoiesis, autopoietic theory, biology of cognition, cognitive engineering, HCI, CSCW, groupware, decision support systems, cognitive task analysis, enaction, enactive cognitive science, Maturana, Varela, work-centered support systems, information warfare, netwar, cyberwar, IW, human factors, interface design, participatory design, knowledge acquisition, knowledge elicitation, Enola Gaia, second-order cybernetics, radical constructivism, semiotics.